Sunday, March 19, 2006

Sorry...Just a little bit busy........

As one can see I haven't been posting a lot lately.

I apologize to my readers out there. Actually my two readers....what's up guys. But I've been slightly busy....introducing my new born son to the world.

Yup....Brayden Danielson Manukay was born March 10th at 3:00 A.M. in the morning at U.C.L.A. Hospital.

Now I've been hesitant writing about the whole experience on the blog. When one considers, it's sort of weird putting out personal experiences out on the web for all to see. But as I mentioned earlier, I only have about approximately two regular readers on the site. So I shouldn't be so paranoid. I also thought it would be a good way to document the event for posterity, not to mention I could have friends, and family link to the page.

The little guy was 9 days early. I guess he had enough of the whole womb experience, and decided to check out the real world.

The day started off pretty uneventful. I was about to write my Pride and Prejudice review at 10:30 at night while watching Videodrome when I heard Erin call me from the bathroom. She informed me that she was about to go to bed when she felt a gush of pressure that startled her....and my dog for that matter, while she was in bed. Erin rushed to the bathroom, and suspected her water broke. But instead of the flood of water we expected, she described the event as more of a...... trickle.

Now we had heard about false labor, and how first time mothers often are mistaken when they feel they are in labor. So we felt this might be the case. We started looking over magazines and books trying to match symptoms. We decided we should call my mom over...since she was a nurse, not to mention a two time mother. After considering a few other options we decided the best thing to do was call the doctor. The doctor's at U.C.L.A. said that they couldn't tell completely from over the phone, that they would have to give her a full examination to determine exactly what had happened.

So we calmly got our stuff together. Erin was fairly confident she was in labor. But for some reason I didn't feel that this was it. I guess from seeing all the different movies about this event I was expecting a lot more screaming and pain....not to mention more water. In the movies it always seems like there's water everywhere on the floor, on clothes.... it almost looks like they came out of a shower....or at least pissed on themselves. Erin described a trickle. So I didn't want to get too excited.

When we got to the hospital, we spent about 10 minutes in the waiting room. Apparently if she was in labor, there was no rush. Erin was cool as a cucumber, which again made me believe this was probably a false alarm. I didn't even bother to take her overnight bag out of the car.

They led us up to the labor and delivery examination room. Erin was in a wheelchair. They asked to describe what the symptoms were. We told them and they decided to take a look at Erin. At this point Erin's pain level has raised significantly. I start to think.....maybe I should've brought in that overnight bag from the car.

They prop her up....still no definitive word. They say they want to do an ultrasound to see how much water is left inside her. They get the machine going. The doctor immediately says that there doesn't seem to be a lot of water left. At this point I'm thinking....I definitely should have brought that overnight bag in. Then I hear words I'll never forget, the doctor remarks "Oh Honey.......he's backwards....the baby is breach. He wants to come out butt first, we're going to have to take him C-Section." She looks at me and says "You'll be holding your baby in about an hour." I think to myself I wish they had a Star Trek transporter to beam me to my car so I can get that damn overnight bag. She then reassures us that it's for the best to do a C-section, just to be sure and safe for the baby.

Erin had been joking throughout the pregnancy that she had wanted a C-section. So I squeeze Erin's hand and joke..."Well, you got your wish." I tell her that I was going to the get that damn bag. I inform my mom, who is in the waiting room about the situation. On my long walk back to the car, I call Erin's father, and I call our friend Jago to tell them about the situation. They both say they are on their way down. I then send out a mass text message to my friends.

When I get back from the car with the bag the nurse hands me O.R. Scrubs to put on. It hits me that this thing is going to happen pretty damn fast. I try to put on the scrubs over the clothes, but the gear isn't big enough. So I take my jeans off. Erin has an I.V. and all sorts of tubes and monitors attached to her.

Then we waited......and waited. Apparently they needed to get some blood tests back before they start....and for some reason it's taking awhile. Before we know it two hours pass. Erin's brother and Father have arrived, so have Jago. Which is good because the batteries in my digital camera have died, and Jago has a fully charged camera. Erin in the meantime is in intense pain. I feel horrible...and guilty for putting her through this....and yet excited to meet the little guy.

The moment arrives,and Erin is wheeled into the operating room. The team tells me to wait outside so they can get set up. I wait in a chair outside the room. Outside I hear voices, at one point I even hear Erin laugh. I figure the pain relief has kicked in. Then I see an agitated man come out of the room who angrily goes to the nurses station. Shortly after I see five different woman walk by and into the pre-op room, they do they're scrubbing. I put it together that these were the doctors getting ready. The person who is agitated is the head man in charge of Erin's pain relief and he's upset that the doctor's are taking their time. I say a quick prayer to myself that everything goes smoothly. I pace and try to look into the room whenever the door cracks open. After another 30 minutes they call me in.

As I walk in I see 4 doctors around Erin. Erin is laying down on her back, and there is a sheet propped up like a wall so Erin can't see below her chin. I peek over at Erin's belly. I see an opening as big as my fist, and blood everywhere. I sit next to Erin's face a little stunned. She smiles at me, her arms stretched out like she's laying on a cross. I grab her hand. She asks me. " Have they started?" I calmly state "Yeah". I giggle to myself and I marvel at modern medicine.

The person in charge of the pain relief is standing with us on our side of the little barrier. The three of us joke around about the event. Erin encourages me to watch. I decline. I laugh at Erin who is trying to watch the operation from the reflection on the window. I tell her not to, but she's curious. She says she loves that kind of stuff. I think to myself this is pretty easy. No stress, no drama, no pain so far.

The doctor than asks us, "if we know what the sex is?" We say it's supposed to be a boy. Erin is scared and asks " it a girl?" The Doctor pauses then says...."We don't know yet. We were just wondering." Nice. Then I hear the doctors laugh. I stand up...I hear a doctor say...."there he is, (they all giggle) his little butt." I decide to watch. The four doctors all seem to be pushing down on her stomach. Sort of looks kind of crude and not very scientific.Then it happens I see the baby squirt out. Literally. There's no noises, no crying. But I see the baby moving. "It's a boy. " the doctor says. I notice the baby is pale. I joke to Erin, "He looks like a white baby.....Damn he has lots of hair." Erin is beginning to get misty eyed. She asks me if the baby is alright. I assure her to the best of my knowledge the baby seems fine. But obviously....I'm not a doctor. (Not even an Anthony Edwards type, never played a doctor in a play.)They cut the cord, and bring him to a separate area where three nurses surround the child trying to clear his breathing path and lungs.

I walk over to the area. The least to me looks perfect....I'm stunned,I honestly don't think I'll ever see anything in my life more beautiful. Erin asks me how the baby looks. I remark that he looks perfect. He's a handsome baby. The pain relief doctor jokes that I'm being so modest. Erin then repeatedly asks me "Is it beautiful? Is the baby beautiful?" I say he is, while kissing her forehead. Erin is crying in joy. While I beam in excitement.

The next hour is a blur I go back and forth between the baby and Erin. I remember to take pictures. I also watch as the three nurses massage the baby. Tapping on his back, and sticking suction devices into his nose, while giving him oxygen. The nurses and doctor assure me that it's normal. That during a normal birth, the fluid in his lungs are squeezed out in the birth canal. Erin in the meantime, hasn't seen the baby. I also notice that they haved pulled out Erin's uterus, and that it's laying on her stomach as they stitch her up. Pretty cool.......and remarkable because Erin is completley unaware. I take pictures of the baby then show the pictures to Erin in the camera's preview window. Erin is ecstatic.

After a short while, after leaving the room and sharing some of the pictures with the people in the waiting room. I return and actually get to hold the baby, and show Erin the child with her own eyes. Erin kisses the head. The baby is calm and quiet. Hardly a peep as he looks around the room taking everyone in.

I help the nurse measure Brayden. The baby is 6 pounds 2 ounces. 19 inches long. I also get to cut down the cord.

Finally, they finish stitching up Erin, and she gets to hold Brayden. The doctor tells Erin everything looks great. Erin later tells me one of the nurses remarked to her that they've never heard a couple laugh so much during a C-Section. Just when I think I've seen the most beautiful thing. I see the two of them together, and I realize that THIS moment is actually the most beautiful moment I will ever experience.

That's it.....that's the day my baby was born.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations Ray, Erin & Brayden!! I've been vicariously living through the emails & picture that Jago forwarded to me days ago... again, congrats & what a blessing - look forward to seeing you all soon!

Melody said...

Thank you soo much for sharing this. I know you had some reservations, putting it up on line but I really enjoyed reading it.

Congratulations to all three of you!!!